Miner Trapped in South Peru Mine Cave-In Dies

LIMA – The informal miner who was trapped four days ago in a mine in southeastern Peru died Saturday even as he was being rescued, officials said.

The Energy and Mines Ministry said that the miner Medardo Gutierrez died before dawn Saturday, apparently of a pulmonary embolism, when he still had one foot trapped and rescuers were trying to free him from the stones and earth that had collapsed on him.

Gutierrez was half-buried on Tuesday when a mineshaft caved in at the Luicho mine in the Ayacucho region where he mined for gold as did hundreds of other informal miners of the area.

The regional health director, David Gordillo, said that “having the miner’s foot compressed formed blood clots, or what are known as venous thrombosis.”

“One of those blood clots would have been carried by the bloodstream to the lungs where it produced a pulmonary embolism, which is like a pulmonary infarction,” the state news agency Andina said.

Gordillo said the miner died when rescuers moved him and he began to have trouble breathing.

Though they gave him cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, it proved impossible to save him.

In the area of the cave-in were several emergency management teams from other mines who were experts in this kind of rescue, besides doctors and police.

Deputy Mining Minister Guillermo Shino remains in the area awaiting the removal of the body from the mine, the ministry said.

Gutierrez’s death comes two days after the head of the Luicho Association of Informal Miners, Egidio Yauyos, told officials that he had been rescued and was in “good” physical shape except for a few cuts and bruises.

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